COVID-19 Outbreaks at Assisted Living in Duluth, Moose Lake Prison

Cases in St. Louis County now stand at 28, 14 in Carlton County.

MINNESOTA,- An assisted living facility in Duluth and Moose Lake Prison in Carlton County is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 28 cases in St. Louis County, and 14 cases in Carlton County.

On Wednesday St. Louis County saw a jump in cases of 11, a large percentage linked to St. Ann’s Residence in Duluth.

Since it is an area of high risk, the County is working with the Minnesota Department of Health to isolate residents, identify and test exposed staff, and even request medics from the Minnesota National Guard.

“We work with the facility to talk about what measures they should take for outbreak control,” said Kristen Ehresmann with the Minnesota Department of Health. “So that includes isolating ill patients, co-horting–if they cannot have their own room they would be co-horted–so patients, ill patients will be together, non-ill patients would be quarantined to protect them.”

State experts said you have family members in an assisted living or group home, consider removing them depending on the service they receive there.

At Moose Lake Prison in Carlton County, 9 inmates have been confirmed to have Coronavirus, and 23 are presumed to be positive based on their symptoms and evidence of close contact with infected individuals.

A “Stay with Unit” plan has been implemented at the facility. Inmates can only gather with others from their living units when occupying the dining hall, educational programming, facility industry or work opportunities.

In St. Louis County the infection has been predicted to peak in late April and early May, but officials Wednesday said it is too early to tell if this is the start of that peak, since so many new cases are confined to that one facility in Duluth.

However, they said the recent string of cases confirms that the virus is spreading via community spread in the county.

Experts with the Minnesota Department of Health advise the public not to focus heavily on the numbers because they expect the virus is more active than the numbers may suggest.

Meanwhile, St. Louis County officials ask that the public doesn’t forget what those numbers really are: suffering human beings.

“As we talk about numbers and statistics we always remember that these are people we’re talking about,” St. Louis County Public Health Division Director Amy Westbrook said.

“They’re not just numbers, they are parents, grandparents, neighbors, and valued members of our community.”

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